Marriage Counselling in Sydney

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Marriage counselling in Sydney
Frequently Asked Questions

Are relationship problems common?

Relationship problems are extremely common. If youíre feeling that your relationship is not fulfilling your expectations you are not alone. Surveys of the general community suggest that, at any given time, as many as 15 percent of people in committed relationships report significant difficulties. Divorce rates are reaching record highs with approximately 50 percent of marriages now ending in divorce. And of course, simply staying married does not necessarily indicate that youíre in a happy relationship. Many individuals stay in problematic relationships for a variety of reasons (eg. financial concerns, children). Because of this, current divorce figures underestimate the proportion of people in unsatisfactory relationships. As you can see, there is no need to be embarrassed if you wish to work on your relationship. Remember, relationship difficulties are the most common presenting problem among adults seeking psychological services.

What are the consequences of relationship problems?

There are many consequences to a relationship in distress. Relationship disharmony effects your enjoyment of life, and may impact on work, social and family functioning. It is associated with higher rates of depression, alcohol abuse, sexual dysfunction and even poorer physical health. Relationship conflict has been shown to lower immune function, and dangerously elevate blood pressure in some individuals. Finally, relationship difficulties may effect the behaviour of any children of the distressed couple. Increased behavioural problems are regularly observed in the children of couples in crisis. So the consequences of relationship problems are broad and serious. If you believe that your relationship is not fulfilling your needs donít delay seeking assistance.

Do I have a relationship problem?

Relationship distress is defined by your own perceptions of your relationship. Only one partner needs to feel dissatisfied to say that a relationship is in some difficulty. The level of dissatisfaction required to indicate a relationship problem is also up to you. Much of your satisfaction or dissatisfaction in your relationship will depend on the expectations that you brought into the relationship. Increasingly, individuals in Western Societies have high expectations for their sexual relationships, and are less content to simply leave problematic areas of the relationship unattended. Again, this is nothing to feel ashamed about. If you are not satisfied with one or more aspects of your relationship, it is perfectly reasonable to seek assistance in bringing about change. If you want more guidance on whether you are in a problematic relationship, examine the six characteristics of couples in distress and the fifteen signs of a healthy relationship.

Can I come to therapy on my own?

Absolutely. Many people experiencing relationship distress come to therapy on their own. Obviously, the chances of enhancing a relationship are increased if both partners will attend some sessions. But your partnerís unwillingness to participate should not stop you from seeking support.

Do you treat unmarried couples and homosexual couples?

Of course. Many people live in committed relationships that do not involve legal marriage. All of these relationships can be helped by the cognitive-behavioural approach to couples therapy.


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Copyright © 2004 Associate Professor Ross G. Menzies
Last modified: Friday, 14. May 2004
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Relationship Counselling in Sydney